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Portraitof Giacomo Leopardi from Chiarini - Vita di Giacomo Leopardi

Introduction. The Digital Zibaldone platform aims to become an interactive environment to support the reading, study, scholarly research, and collaborative editing of Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone of Thoughts. The central research question investigated by this project is how digital methods for knowledge representation could support the epistemic practices of the fragment genre and facilitate its scholarship and adoption as a hermeneutic methodology. Leopardi's Zibaldone belongs to the textual phenomenon of authorial collections of fragmentary observations and editorial notes for works that never gained formal structure, yet in many cases represent the author’s intellectual opus (other prominent examples include Walter Benjamin’s Passagenwerk and Paul Valéry’s Cahiers). The aspiration of such fragment collections to convey the relational network structure of phenomenal reality and safeguard its potentiality against an instrumental organization of discourse is explicitly professed as well as embedded in their textual form. These texts tend to fracture the constructs of syntax and their codex medium and turn to graphical configurations and proto-hypertextual expedients, such as cross-references, marginalia, linking loops, indexing systems, layouts, diagrams, folders, cutting up and re-arranging slips of paper, etc. The task of reconstructing the potential semantic orders of this voluminous, processual, fluid, and dimensional textual form demands considerable editorial intervention, placing an inordinate cognitive load on the reader, and therefore calls for the computational, multimodal and interactive affordances of digital media. The modeling of the Zibaldone as a digital platform thus reflects the exigencies of its textual genre and responds to the limitations of its codex technology as an editorial and authoring workspace.

Digitization and Transcription.

The text of the Zibaldone adopted by the project is based on the collation of the digital transcription of Pensieri di varia filosofia e di bella letteratura edited by De Robertis ( and the digital transcription of Zibaldone di pensieri edited by Binni and Ghidetti ( The text was then proofread and corrected by consulting the transcription of the CD-ROM edition by Ballerini and Ceragioli (Zanichelli, 2009) and the facsimiles of Peruzzi's edition (Scuola Normale Superiore, 1989-1994). The text of the 1827 Index, the PNR ("polizzine non richiamate"), and the two partial indexes ("Danno del conoscere la propria età" and "Pensieri di varia filosofia e di bella letteratura") has been transcribed from Peruzzi’s edition. All four indexes have been translated into English.

The transcription is semi-diplomatic and normalizes most common abbreviations and proper names for the purposes of searching, as well as gives the option to view suggestions for amending errors present in the manuscript. The transcription includes markers for underlined words as they appear in the manuscript (single, double) and for all types of additions (interlinear, inline, marginal, footnotes) which are integrated in the line of text. The page and paragraph divisions accurately reflect the manuscript; the paragraphs have been numbered for the purpose of activating Leopardi's intra-textual reference network. The presentation of the text does not reflect the line breaks of the manuscript, unless there the text is in verse. Deleted text has not been included. The Navigation Settings allow to select various layers of authorial and editorial annotations (see XML-TEI Markup) and to view a more or less diplomatic version of the transcription.

In the course of consulting other editions of the Zibaldone, the editor has identified several hundred errors present in some of them, which are published under “Miscellanea”.

XML-TEI Markup

Linked Data





Social Annotation

Silvia Stoyanova, Articulating inter- and intra- textual relations in the fragment collection: working with the digital edition of Leopardi’s Zibaldone”. Article in Magazén: International Journal for Digital and Public Humanities, Vol. 4. No. 1, 2023, pp. 13-42,

Silvia Stoyanova, Modeling a digital environment for Giacomo Leopardi's Zibaldone" In Rivista Internazionale di Studi Leopardiani, vol. 12, 2020, pp. 183-200.

Silvia Stoyanova, Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone as a digital research platform: a methodological proposal for its semantic reconstruction and discursive mediation. In Semicerchio: rivista di poesia comparata, LIII, 02/2016, pp. 98-106, Ed. Francesco Stella.

Silvia Stoyanova and Ben Johnston, Remediating Giacomo Leopardi’s Zibaldone: Hypertextual Semantic Networks in the Scholarly Archive. Proceedings of AIUCD ‘14, September 18-19 2014, Bologna, Italy, ACM (08/2015). Ed. Francesca Tomasi et al.

Silvia Stoyanova and Ben Johnston, "The Zibaldone Hypertext Research Platform". In Authoring Software (07/2014), Ed. Judy Malloy

Silvia Stoyanova, "Fragmentary Narrative and the Formation of Pre-Digital Scholarly Hypertextuality: G. Leopardi’s Zibaldone and its hypertext rendition". In Proceedings of Hypertext 2013, ACM (05/2013)

Silvia Stoyanova, “Lo Zibaldone di pensieri di Leopardi: progetto di una piattaforma di ricerca ipertestuale”. in Lo «Zibaldone» di Leopardi come ipertesto, Atti del Convegno internazionale (Barcellona, 26-27 ottobre 2012). Ed. María de las Nieves Muñiz Muñiz, Florence, Leo Olschki, 2013, pp.333-342.


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